Impersonating a ransom or suicide negotiator can be a burdensome task, particularly if you tried it out capriciously one lazy afternoon during lunch break. The preferred means to kibitz while corroborating trust with your new law enforcing cohorts is to proclaim confidence: “I am the negotiator!” To best alleviate doubts, carry a clipboard and briskly push people aside.
With clipboard in hand, full of confidence, and the last bit of an apple from your lunch break, you have announced to uniformed officers what your purpose in life is, and they simply tell you, “Good Luck.” Despite this jaded comment coming from men destined to be law enforcement agents based on what their marriage counselor isolated as control issues, masculinity problems, and wanting to dress like someone invading Poland, you remain steadfast for success, albeit as a complete and untrained amateur.
Sooner than you anticipated you are speaking with the command officer, an FBI agent promulgating the odor of Red Bull and Scotch, seasoned in getting men to either agree with him or drop thirteen floors to their death. Within five minutes it is clear that you are in the company of a man bewildered by the lack of his own success. “Sometimes, it’s just not your day.” “It’s not my fault they’re good at what they do.” Like many NFL coaches drifting from one team to another, he reflects on his mediocre record as, “A collective effort from everyone involved.” In the event of a loss, you coerce the lead officer to sign a makeshift contract, torn from a Good Housekeeping Magazine, exonerating you from all mishaps (otherwise known as death), while in the case of triumph you shall receive a resort membership of your preference, in perpetuity.
Negotiations can be very tense. Often there is excessive screaming and foul language. “I hate you!” “You rat bastard!” “Get bent!” At this point it is wise to not take it personally, and accept your command officer’s words as positive criticism, even if he’s using a megaphone.
If the assailant is demanding a ransom you must defer to Rule Four of your manual, which says, “Be clear.” Skip Rule Five, which reiterates Rule Four in more Victorian language with a bit more clarity, and go straight to Rule Nine, which reads, “Are you successfully finished yet?” If yes, proceed to the nearest pub. If no, inform the assailant which pub you’ll be in, with a phone number for emergencies, as well as the approximate time of your return. It’s wise to remind the assailant, “In our absence, refrain from coarse language as there are children nearby; we shouldn’t want the young tykes falling prey to vulgarity” – save for the fact most of them are pebble tossing, penitentiary bound prodigies, encouraging the assailant to “go for it.”
If the assailant is holding a ransom and threatening suicide, then by all means try to narrow it down to one. (At heart they are stubborn people.) Get him to make up his mind for God’s sake. There’s a time for a ransom and there’s a time for a suicide threat, but don’t force the two together on an awkward date. There’s nothing worse than a meddlesome malfeasant trying to multitask. Most of them are downtrodden men at best, dedicating most of their lives to one petty crime or another, out on state charges, living with their mother, biding their time to test law enforcement’s psychologically trained arm at the expense of the common tax payer.
After an hour of insults, hurtled flying objects, spitting, you may realize the command officer’s behavior is getting you nowhere. At this point, Rule 15 of your manual is the best option: Do as your commanding officer does, creating a diversion for your exit, undeterred by the consequences of the actions to come, while keeping your resort membership in place.